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Heart of China & The Yangtze

12 days with Monograms  Rating: First Class

River Cruise Itinerary
Welcome to China! Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.

This morning, enjoy a PRIVATE GUIDED EXCURSION to the GREAT WALL OF CHINA, which once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Walk along the wall and take in the stunning views of this mammoth fortress and the surrounding scenery. Return to Beijing and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. (B,L)

Begin your PRIVATE GUIDED SIGHTSEEING at TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. Next, stop at the FORBIDDEN CITY, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest palace complex. Once the home of China’s great emperors, today it showcases ancient Chinese architecture, landscaped gardens, and displays of rare art and artifacts. The afternoon is at your leisure. (B)

The Forbidden City is closed on Mondays. In these instances, sightseeing on days 2 & 3 will be reversed. 

Fly to Xi’an, an archaeological treasure trove in central China. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)

Day 5 XI’AN.
Rare discoveries await on your PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR of Xi’an. Start with a visit to the DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD. Afterward, visit the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of TERRACOTTA WARRIORS that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. During lunch, enjoy a NOODLE-MAKING DEMONSTRATION by a master chef, and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Last stop is Xi’an’s ancient CITY WALL. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B,L)

Fly to Chongqing, China’s capital during World War II. Here, board your ship for a 3-night cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. (B)

Your SHORE EXCURSION today takes you to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, featuring a 100-foottall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, an important deity in Chinese Taoism. Return to your ship where the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activites. You may choose to take an optional shore excursion to Fengdu, known by many Chinese as the “Ghost City,” to visit the mountaintop shrines. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party, followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew. (B,L,D)

Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered. 

Early this morning, you may choose to start your day with a tai chi session on the Sun Deck or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. Later, sail downstream through the first and second of the three gorges—Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and Wu, known for its quiet beauty and forestcovered mountains. You can nearly touch the perpendicular walls rising from the riverbanks as your Captain negotiates this narrow gap. After lunch, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down Goddess Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship, you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. (B,L,D)

Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Shennong Stream. 

This morning, make a brief visit to the THREE GORGES DAM SITE, the largest dam of its kind in the world. Then, transfer to the airport in Yichang for your flight to Shanghai, China’s center of trade and industry. (B)

Today, explore the highlights of Shanghai on a PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR. First, visit the bustling YU YUAN GARDENS, dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Then, stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. For lunch, stop at a local restaurant featuring XIAOLONGBAO, Shanghai’s most famous dish. These tasty soup dumplings are handmade with at least 18 intricate folds to close the top. The broth is the star so, to avoid wasting a single drop, gently pick up the dumpling, dip in sauce, and transfer to a Chinese soup spoon. Next, make a small hole to release the steam and allow the broth to cool. After it cools, sip up the broth and then swallow the dumpling. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B,L)

This morning, your PRIVATE GUIDED SIGHTSEEING starts at the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, featuring stunning displays of ancient bronze, jade, and ceramics. Then, take a WALKING TOUR of the former French Concession, once Shanghai’s leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure—from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Along the way, see the famous Art Deco Cathay Theatre, explore the narrow lanes of Xintiandi, and visit Fuxing Park, where locals play chess, dance, practice tai chi, and more. The afternoon is at your leisure. (B)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
All This Included
Your Monograms vacation package in China with Yangtze River Cruise is an amazing adventure from Beijing to Shanghai. You’ll enjoy a private guided excursion to explore the Great Wall of China, and a private sightseeing tour of Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and world’s largest palace complex that was home to the great emperors of China. Browse the rare artifacts and art here, and stroll through the gardens and ancient architecture. You’ll fly to Xi’an for an unforgettable archaeological experience, and find rare discoveries on a private guided tour. Visit the 652-AD Dayan Pagoda, and visit the extraordinary tomb of China’s first emperor—Qin Shi Huangdi. Guarded by a legion of terracotta warriors, the 2,000-year-old tomb was discovered in 1974.

Embark on your ship in Chongqing for a three-night cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. Your Yangtze River cruise includes an excursion to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area and a separate boat ride down picturesque Goddess Stream. Disembark from your cruise for a brief visit to the Three Gorges Dam site—the largest of its kind in the world—before flying to Shanghai. Visit Yu Yuan Gardens, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and stroll along the Bund riverfront boulevard. Indulge in the intricate Xiaolongbao dumplings, and tour the stunning Shanghai Museum. Choose from Monograms optional excursions or enjoy free time to explore on your own—with your Local Host on hand with suggestions and assistance whenever you need it. Your Monograms vacation package in China includes hotel accommodations, private guided sightseeing, breakfast daily, and the services of your expert Local Host®.
  • American breakfast daily; 5 lunches; 2 dinners
  • Private airport transfers to/from all intra-vacation flights; intra-vacation flights not included
  • This vacation package to China includes a 3-night cruise along the Yangtze River, so you can relax on your private balcony and soak in the picturesque views as you sail through the magnificent gorges!
  • Local Host In each city
  • Private guided sightseeing with your Local Host as outlined in the day-by-day itinerary; inside visits, and special features are shown in UPPERCASE
Accommodations on this Tour
Beijing: Novotel Xin Qiao
Xian: Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Victoria Anna
Shanghai: Golden Tulip New Bund Asia 
  • Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy. For singles traveling alone, a supplement will be quoted at the time of booking. Single rooms are available at a supplement; triple rooms are not available.
  • Hotel and cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.

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